SGCC’s 2017 State of the Consumer Report weaves together findings from SGCC’s 2016 research program into several key themes about the current state of the smart grid consumer and how smart grid stakeholders can better serve that consumer.
SGCC’s 2016 research program built upon the strong foundation laid by 2015’s Consumer Pulse Wave 5 and Consumer Voices research. In those reports, SGCC looked broadly at the state of the smart grid consumer – their needs, their perceptions and the attitudes that drive these needs and perceptions. These reports indicated several areas worthy of greater study, which SGCC undertook in 2016.
In 2016, SGCC released The Empowered Consumer, which looked at a broad range of smart grid programs and services that were most promising based on Consumer Pulse research. The next report, Consumer Driven Technologies, focused on solar and electric vehicle technologies not yet widely adopted, but that promise to transform the utility industry if and when widespread adoption occurs. Finally, Customer Experience and Expectations looked at how utilities and other stakeholders can understand consumers’ evolving expectations and how these are shaped by their experiences and interactions with other service providers.
The 2017 State of the Consumer Report has integrated these findings, along with case studies of how utilities and technology providers have actually used the findings. Drawing from this research, SGCC has identified six key themes that highlight the state of the smart grid consumer today:
- Theme 1 – Consumer interest transcends technology availability
- Theme 2 – Marketing effectiveness continues to be key for driving adoption of Smart Grid programs and technologies
- Theme 3 – Program design matters, and several offerings show promise
- Theme 4 – Cost can be a barrier, but innovative acquisition models are emerging
- Theme 5 – Don’t forget about post-purchase engagement
- Theme 6 – SGCC’s research suggests a structure for potential changes to the utility business model